Re: Help need to solve the mystery of the child left behind #general


Celia Male <celiamale@...>
 

Kirsten Beach has sent us an interesting conundrum.
Her gt-gt-grandfather Siegmund OPPENHEIM and his wife
Adele settled in Manchester, UK >from Germany. Kirsten
tells us that you can see Siegmund OPPENHEIM [German
aged 26] an African Merchant on the 1861 census [see
footnote]. By 1871, he is still single, Commission
Merchant and a naturalised British Subject in Lancs,
UK.

In 1881 he is married to Adele >from Schwerin
Mecklenburg {Prussia} and has 4 children all born in
Chorlton Medlock. Then Kirsten tells us: "there is no
mention on this census of his first-born son Eugen who
would have been born around 1873 and in Germany. In
fact, we don't see any records of Eugen in England
until he is married in 1899 (aged 26) and then when he
is naturalised in 1911.

Furthermore Kirsten has not been able to find any
record of Siegmund's marriage to Adele in England and
naturally wonders why Eugen was left behind in Germany
as he never appears on any census listing in 1881 or
1891.

At first I really wondered if Eugen is the son of
Siegmund and *Adele*. They have a son called Frederick
born in 1873 in Manchester.

Eugen is listed in the 1901 census and is still
German; Kirsten tells us he married in 1899 and the
names Siegmund and Adele are on the wedding
certificate as his parents: This is the 1901 listing:

Eugen Oppenheim abt 1873 German, Germany Head Lambeth London
Winnie Oppenheim abt 1875 Rotherhithe, London, England Wife Lambeth London

If he is indeed the the son of the Manchester Siegmund
- he could be the son of a first marriage. After all,
he was also born in ca 1873 - perhaps 1872. Siegmund's
first wife might have died and baby Eugen was left
with her family as he could not look after him.
Siegmund might have married again soon afterwards and
baby Frederick arrived in 1873/74 in Manchester.

Alternatively - Siegmund and Adele had Eugen in
Germany and Adele found herself pregnant soon after
his birth and due to leave for Manchester. She, a
young wife and mother, could not cope [post-natal
depression, panic etc] so she left Eugen with her
family. Eugen too might have been ill.

Thirdly, Eugen might have been born out of wedlock and
left behind because of the prevailing mores of the
period and then "reclaimed"!

The fact that Eugen does not appear in the censuses of
1881 and 1891 does not mean he did not stay with his
family at other times. The census was taken at one
point in time. Eugen may have stayed there many times
-but not on census day. Sometimes things like this do
happen; all this is obviously just guess work, but as
it is not so long ago, there may be descendants of
Eugen, or relatives of his wife, Winnie, who know the
true story - if he ever knew it or told it to them!
His birth certificate hopefully holds the clue - or
his naturalisation certificate, if it can be
retrieved. Siegmund, it is stated on the UK census was
from Hamburg.
One person who probably knew the full story is his
co-lodger in 1871 in Manchester, Leopold SCHLOSS.
Leopold was also a merchant >from Germany. In 1861 he
is a listed as a 19 year old shipping clerk. So what
became of him?

Celia Male [U.K.]

Footnote: I had great difficulty finding Siegmund
OPPENHEIM in the 1861 census. Find the 1861 England
and Wales census on a well-known genealogy site: Enter
"Cheshire" as a *county* and *Germany* as a birthplace
and leave all other fields *blank* - then scroll down
the 104 entries - you will find many wonderful
mistranscriptions and, believe it or not, our Siegmund
appears as ***S??mund Sp??***.
I have sent in a correction.

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